Tuesday, January 13, 2015

2014 Wrap-up (part 5)

I'm almost finished with this whole wrap-up bit. Maybe two more parts because one devoted to my SISTERS TRIP to NYC and one for everything else. But I'm getting ahead of myself. First things first.

Not only was BYU in town for a couple soccer games, but they were playing at the local stadium so of course we went. Donovan was super excited to go and the whole thing really opened his eyes to what soccer could look like. The next morning he attended a free soccer clinic the players put on and he came home totally pumped about his future career. And THEN we went to the second game that night and Donovan got to be a ball boy. If you ask him what was his favorite memory of 2014, he may very well say that over Hawaii and Disney. But he's also not so smart...kidding. But seriously, he asked if he could be a ball boy and I said we'd have to ask the head ref which he, awesome type-A personality that he is developing into, took to mean, "Go ask the head ref yourself." Because the next thing I knew, he was marching up to the head ref, I see him gesturing and his lips moving. I see the ref kind of look over the field and then respond and then suddenly Donovan is walking quickly back to me, a grin spreading across his face. 

Although the ref told him he didn't have to run a ton, he ran the entire length of the field along with the ball for most of the game. By the end of the night he was exhausted and elated. We've had him try out for a more competitive team and he's doing fairly well so if this goes somewhere, we'll point to this event as the genesis of his career.

But he always has his law career to fall back on, right?

Part of being a well-rounded person is getting an education in all areas of life. So I saw it as my duty (no giggling) to introduce the kids to the beauty that is "The Three Amigos." I figured they'd enjoy it, but within the first seconds, with Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short singing their Anthem and then holding "Threeeeeee" for a freakish amount of time, Donovan nearly exploded from laughing so hard. He was wiping his eyes and shaking his head, saying, "I can't take it!" Comedic brilliance.
And then Ainsleigh got braces. She was super pumped because all kids who haven't had braces want braces. Within a couple days the novelty had worn off. No surprise.
Always count on Donovan and Gemma to be weird. Also, have we talked about the length of Gemma's tongue recently?

Then we had some sad news that my sister Becca's dog, Lily, had gotten really sick. She was a young dog, almost a puppy, and she got a rare/fluke disease. My kids were very sad since they have met and played with sweet Lily. Gemma made Becca and Austin a card. On the left: Dear Becca, I am sad that Lily is sick. What does she have? On the right: Lily in between Becca and Gemma. All you can see of Austin in the background is his mustache. I guess this makes sense.
Sadly, Lily passed away. We will not forget her and her pillowy silky fur. We were happy to hear that after a few months, they have adopted a new puppy. My kids love asking to see pictures of Ava. And who doesn't love puppy pictures? (hint, hint, Becca)

Gemma is loving first grade and having homework like a big kid. I love that she tries to do it by herself. One day, in the parking lot of the ballet studio, where we wait the half an hour between the start of Ainsleigh's and Gemma's class, I looked over to see Gemma doing this:
 I love her "I'll do it myself" attitude. Most of the time. A new school year calls for a new haircut. If only it looked this good all the time.

Over fall break we went to Estes Park to see what we could see, hoping for some elk. We hadn't even checked in yet and there on the front lawn were five enormous elk just grazing or waiting for us or something. It was so weird. My initial thought was, "That's a nice touch," and then I had to remind myself that these are wild creatures and this is not DisneyWorld.

In the town, we saw a really cool glass-blowing demonstration. I know that makes me sound like I aged about three decades, but it's true! I have a new appreciation for blown-glass objects. And of course we did some hiking around.

 Donovan is the only kid who wants to have his picture taken with his parents. Fine.

Every now and then I see that my kids have taken pictures of themselves with my computer and left them on my desktop. Then one day I saw this:
So...that's awesome.

This is Gemma, showing that she is missing something like half of her teeth. Maybe not quite that bad, but it seems like it. She may have to go back to baby food for a while.

 Halloween! Secret Service agent, Arabian dancer, and Elsa.

Oh my gosh, I am never going to get behind again. But thank goodness for phones and the pictures we take, proving that we did something with our year.